When I give presentations at conferences, I often get asked by people one simple question: “how do I keep abreast of all this new stuff?” My response is that people should think about getting mentoring from people younger from themselves – ‘reverse mentoring.’
Fast Company had a short piece on this recently, and it highlighted some of the benefits:
Shivananda says reverse mentoring also helps leaders connect with millennials. “Often leaders look at millennials and don’t understand them,” he says. “Reverse mentoring gives me an opportunity to do that, not just by learning in terms of technology, but by engaging and maximizing the workforce. It gives me an ability to demonstrate that this is a place to come to work and be appreciated. Somebody wants to understand and learn from them.”Reverse mentoring works best when it’s a reciprocal experience, says Shivananda, and this can help the junior employee grow in his or her own career by discussing their aspirations.
“Reverse mentoring should always be a mutual experience; I provide value by sharing my years of experience,” says Shivananda. “They give me value through sharing what’s new, what’s happening, and what’s relevant.”